The wonderful unbeaten run started two months ago with a victory at Motherwell so maybe it was apt that it was the Steemen who ended it.
St Johnstone had hoped to stretch the sequence to what would have been a record-equalling nine games of top-flight football but, in truth, they just didn’t get going in this one until it was too late.
The fans should not be too hard on their team even though it was disappointing that boss Tommy Wright didn’t join previous gaffers Tommy Muirhead, Bobby Brown and John McClelland in achieving the nine-match feat.
Jason Kerr’s headed goal seven minutes from time was just not enough to keep it all going, with Tom Aldred and Danny Johnson scoring for the Lanarkshire side.
Saints also missed another penalty, with Matty Kennedy’s strike saved in the first half.
Memories of the previous weekend at Pittodrie, when Saints produced a tactical master class to beat Aberdeen, were still fresh when this fixture kicked off at McDiarmid Park in appalling weather conditions.
However, it was the visitors who took a surprise lead after just 99 seconds.
David Turnbull fired over a corner from the left and Aldred stabbed powerfully past keeper Zander Clark.
Saints launched their first decent attack on 15 minutes when David Wotherspoon found space inside the box but he smashed his shot into the side-netting.
Just two minutes later, it was 2-0 to the Steelmen.
The ball bobbled about the home box after Liam Grimshaw’s cross came in, before falling for Turnbull just yards out.
He missed a sitter from eight yards but the ball then arrived at the feet of Johnson, who showed great composure to scoop it over Clark and into the net.
The Perth men were given an early Christmas present on 25 minutes when referee Alan Muir spotted a handball by Well’s Charles Dunne under pressure by David McMillan.
However, the St Johnstone penalty hoodoo struck again when Kennedy’s effort was saved by goalie Mark Gillespie. That made it four misses out of their past five kicks.
Up at the other end, Curtis Main came close with a header for Motherwell but had to watch Wotherspoon boot the ball off the line.
Jason Kerr came close with a netbound long-range strike for Saints on 37 minutes but the ball skimmed the top of Aldred’s head on the way and went out for a corner.
Wotherpoon’s corner from the left was then headed goalwards by McMillan but Gillespie was perfectly placed to clutch the ball.
Just before the break, Kennedy went on a run for Saints and his low shot had to be turned around the post by Gillespie.
The hosts were obviously hoping for a better second half but keeper Clark had his teammates worried when he made a hash of a punch inside his six-yard box on 20 minutes.
Then Turnbull had a 25-yard volley fisted away by Clark as the visitors looked for a third.
On 59 minutes, Saints should have had one back but McMillan’s volley form 12 yards flew over when he should have burst the net.
Sub Danny Swanson tried to make his mark on the game on 75 minutes but three Motherwell players got in the way of his strike as the home side kept looking for a breakthrough.
It came on 83 minutes and it was a well-worked goal.
Kerr was the scorer, climbing highest to power home a header from eight yards after Kennedy had crossed from the left after taking a short corner.
There was a big shout for another St Johnstone penalty with four minutes to go when Swanson appeared to be budged to the floor by Dunne but ref Muir waved play on.
Richard Foster shot from distance for the hosts in stoppage time but it didn’t trouble Gillespie and that was that for Saints and their unbeaten run.